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Berlin E-Prix: Vergne takes pole by almost half a second

Berlin E-Prix: Vergne takes pole by almost half a second

DS Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne took pole position at the Tempelhof Airport circuit in Berlin, ending points leading teammate Antonio Felix da Costa’s streak as he failed to make the Super Pole session and will start in the midfield.

A brilliant last run in superpole, where he was fastest in all three sectors, scored him a 1m06.277s effort to pull out a 0.495s advantage over BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Gunther. 

Vergne qualified second to da Costa for the first race on the reversed Tempelhof Airport circuit on Wednesday but was a distant eighth for the Thursday E-Prix. But he responded brilliantly on Saturday, topping the group two runners and taking provisional top spot by 0.3s before then converting his advantage in the top-six fight to score his 11th series pole. 

Jerome D’Ambrosio headed an impressive session for Mahindra Racing with third place, capped off by his strong form all-day in the final sector that retrieved him a tenth after a sloppy opening split.  

Stoffel Vandoorne led the way in group one over da Costa, but a huge lock up into Turn 6 added to a wall touch exiting Turn 9 and consigned him to a fourth-place start after his superpole run. 

Alex Lynn – D’Ambrosio’s teammate – continued his sterling one-lap pace as he progressed from group four to superpole, but he took too much kerb at Turn 9 to fall 0.9s off the pace after Vergne’s flier. 

Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns ran slowest in the top six battle. Super aggressive into Turn 1, he lost the rear end and began to overheat his tyres. 

That transpired through Turn 7 as he suffered a big spike of oversteer and then ran well wide at the Turn 9 hairpin to end up 0.903s adrift.   

With the Porsche driver Andre Lotterer the first out of the top-six shootout in seventh, he headed Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries who was out early on track in group two but glanced the wall exiting Turn 4. 

Despite the overstep, he was a provisional fifth to demote runaway points leader da Costa out of superpole running. 

DS Techeetah driver da Costa, who won both races on the reversed Tempelhof circuit, made a Turn 6 mistakes to wind up 0.224s off group one pacesetter Vandoorne – with team boss Mark Preston reporting that a mandated 0.1-bar reduction in tyre pressure had hurt his driver overnight. 

Oliver Rowland completed the top 10 for Nissan ahead of Lucas di Grassi and a scruffy but quick lap for Dragon Racing pilot Serge Sette Camara. 

Felipe Massa’s slow opening sector undid all his hard work over the remainder of the lap to line up 13th for Venturi Racing ahead of teammate Edoardo Mortara. 

Sebastien Buemi, second for Nissan e.dams on Thursday, was just 15th ahead of another poor run from BMW Andretti contestant Alexander Sims. 

A 17th place for James Calado meant for the first time on pace - not due to a team error - he outqualified Jaguar stablemate Mitch Evans. 

Evans reported a “smooth, clean” lap and was surprised to wind up so far down the order, having been a clear title contender in second place prior to the season resumption. 

Sam Bird was ranked down in 20th for Envision Virgin Racing after getting stuck behind Vandoorne on his flying lap in group one.  

Cla Driver Team Time Gap km/h
1 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah 1'06.277   127.917
2 Germany Maximilian Gunther United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.772 0.495 126.969
3 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio India Mahindra Racing 1'06.825 0.548 126.868
4 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Germany Mercedes 1'06.965 0.688 126.603
5 United Kingdom Alex Lynn India Mahindra Racing 1'07.177 0.900 126.203
6 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'07.180 0.903 126.198
7 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 1'06.867 0.590 126.788
8 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Germany Mercedes 1'06.907 0.630 126.713
9 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa China Techeetah 1'06.938 0.661 126.654
10 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland France DAMS 1'06.947 0.670 126.637
11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Germany Team Abt 1'06.960 0.683 126.612
12 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United States Dragon Racing 1'07.077 0.800 126.392
13 Brazil Felipe Massa Monaco Venturi 1'07.090 0.813 126.367
14 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 1'07.098 0.821 126.352
15 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 1'07.140 0.863 126.273
16 United Kingdom Alexander Sims United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.141 0.864 126.271
17 United Kingdom James Calado United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'07.147 0.870 126.260
18 Switzerland Neel Jani Germany Porsche Team 1'07.193 0.916 126.173
19 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'07.197 0.920 126.166
20 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'07.208 0.931 126.145
21 Germany René Rast Germany Team Abt 1'07.261 0.984 126.046
22 Germany Daniel Abt United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'07.331 1.054 125.915
23 Switzerland Nico Müller United States Dragon Racing 1'07.366 1.089 125.849
24 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'07.521 1.244 125.560
Berlin E-Prix: D'Ambrosio leads da Costa in practice

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About this article

Series Formula E
Event Berlin ePrix III
Sub-event QU
Author Matt Kew